President Donald Trump is not playing games with Democrats who are about to take control of the House of Representatives.
On Wednesday he threatened to declassify “devastating documents” that could destroy them, The New York Post reported.
President Trump says he’s prepared to declassify documents that would be “devastating” to his opponents if Democrats go after him next year when they control the House.
“If they want to play tough, I will do it,” Trump told the Post in an interview Wednesday. “They will see how devastating those pages are.”
Trump had planned to release documents related to the Russia investigation, but reversed course in September. During the interview, he said he wants to save the documents until they are needed to counterpunch Democrats.
“It’s much more powerful if I do it then,” Trump said, “because if we had done it already, it would already be yesterday’s news.”
The president discussed his playbook just as Democrats are set to take over House committees in January where they are poised to investigate his businesses, tax returns, Russia dealings and more.
Trump dubbed Democrats’ potential investigations as “presidential harassment.”
“If they want to go and harass the president and the administration, I think that would (be) the best thing that could happen to me because I’m a counter puncher and I will hit them so hard, they’ve never been hit like that,” Trump said. “You know what? I think that will help my campaign. That will be the beginning of my campaign as president.”
In September, a group of Trump allies in the House — led by Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York — called on Trump to declassify scores of Justice Department documents they believe undercut the start of the Russia investigation and show bias against Trump.
The documents include Justice Department officials’ request to track Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and memos on DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s interactions with Christopher Steele, the author of a controversial dossier that alleged Trump ties to Russia.
Trump initially agreed to declassify the documents, including text messages sent by former FBI officials James Comey, Andrew McCabe as well as Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Ohr. Trump allies believe the revelations will show favoritism toward Hillary Clinton and a plot to take down Trump.
Trump then reversed course, citing the need for further review and concern of US allies.
Trump added Wednesday that his lawyer Emmet Flood thought it would be better politically to wait.
“He didn’t want me to do it yet, because I can save it,” Trump said.
The president also pushed back on the notion that all the Justice Department documents should eventually be released for the sake of transparency.
“Some things maybe the public shouldn’t see because they are so bad,” Trump said, making clear it wasn’t damaging to him, but to others. “Maybe it’s better that the public not see what’s been going on with this country. “